A first-year experience program for traditional-aged college freshmen

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Coffin, Gina M.
Wessel, Roger D.
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Thesis (M.A.)
Department of Educational Leadership
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The purpose of this project was to create a comprehensive first-year studies program that continues throughout the first semester of the freshmen year. This program incorporated both in-class and out-of-class activities to ease the transition to college and provided support for the developmental needs of traditional-aged freshmen students.This program was created after reviewing information from existing literature. The researcher focused on literature describing the transition to college, challenges for traditional-aged freshmen students, and how first year studies programs can assist with freshmen students' development.Informal interviews were conducted with professionals at institutions with an existing First-Year Studies program and with Ball State University students. These were used to discover opinions from both professionals and students regarding the first year of college.The researcher then identified variations of the First-Year Studies programs at three different institutions including the University of Notre Dame's First-Year Studies Program, the Freshmen Studies Program at New York's St. Francis College, and the Minnesota State University at Mankato's First-Year Experience program. These programs were examined to discover the differences in programs with similar goals.The researcher used this information to create the first-year studies program detailed in Chapter Four.